The Fox and HP-1
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The Fox and HP-1 30 Sep 2011 09:38 #7693

  • UPMan
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I've been at a training conference for an assortment of "good guys" this week (I showed off products in the vendor area and taught a couple of classes on the basics of trunked radio systems). The culmination of the event (for many of the attendees, anyway) is a transmitter fox hunt. I informally participated (just wanted to see what I could do using the RF Power Plot feature in the HomePatrol-1).

The three official teams (each team had 3-5 people) each had an ICOM IC-R20 radio outfitted with handheld highly directional (and $$$) antennas. The fox was on GMRS/FRS channel 1. The playground was the environs of the hotel we are staying at.

The intent was to simulate somewhat what you would do once you get out of the vehicle (which all have doppler DF or TDOA systems on board) and have to do a final localization of a "bad guy's" position using hand-carried equipment.

We all started out in the parking lot behind the hotel with the fox taunting fairly often. Since I did not have a DF antenna, I first tried just body shielding to get an idea of the direction of the signal. That was worthless. So, I simply walked around, noting the changes in RSSI as I changed location, but also listening carefully to every transmission. At one point, I heard the fox talking to someone off mic "It's OK, we are just playing a radio game." Later he gave another hint that "I'm not outside the parking lot perimeter." I had achieved a position that was getting me the highest RSSI reading (by then I had removed the antenna and turned on ATTEN). Was looking at 15 people spread all over the parking lot, looking in cars (not likely, it was a hot day), behind bushes, up into trees, etc. The Fox then said "Gee you guys are dumb. Where am I? Your heads are so big, but your brains are so small. Am I standing up? Am I sitting down? Am I behind a door? Am I upside-down?"

I was standing directly in front of the doors that go into the hotel banquet area when he said that...and at that point I realized that RF techniques had taken me as far as they were going to, so I started piecing together what I had heard. Based on his comments, he was obviously somewhere where hotel personnel had seen him and been curious or concerned about what he was doing. Not likely to be out in the parking area. So I turned around, went into the hotel, opened the first banquet room door, and there he was.

Since I wasn't officially part of the teams, I didn't win any prizes (dinner at the hotel was up for grabs to the winning team), but, still. I beat the first team by over 5 minutes, using a very inexpensive scanner and a little bit of smarts about mixing technical intel (RSSI levels) with human intel (the content of his taunting messages...).
Last Edit: 30 Sep 2011 09:38 by UPMan.

Re:The Fox and HP-1 01 Oct 2011 06:19 #7700

  • larryc43230
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Angus MacGyver would be proud. Well done! It sounds like a fun exercise, too!


Re:The Fox and HP-1 01 Oct 2011 08:26 #7701

  • randybcd396t
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